“In his application for the Augustana Research Award, Dr. Michael Mucz shows a rueful awareness of the length of time it took him to complete Baba’s Kitchen Remedies,’ says Associate Dean of Research and Augustana English professor Dr. Roxanne Harde. “But given the success of the book – including a second printing and rave reviews from leading scholars in the field – he may have simply put in the ethnobotanical research the project required.”
Driven by questions about which plant species were used by Ukrainian settlers in western Canada, and how they used them, Dr. Mucz took on twenty years of study. Roxanne states that he demonstrated an ongoing, tenacious commitment to his inquiries.
“He feared that his informants might all die off before the book came out,” Roxanne jokes, “but Michael was equally tenacious in adhering to his initial vision to produce a study that would connect with these informants and to their communities. As a result, he wrote a book that offers first-rate scholarship but appeals to a far wider audience than that garnered by traditional academic studies.”
Michael begins his retirement soon and plans both a revised second edition – as well as a sequel.
Congratulations, Dr. Michael Mucz, on your selection as the recipient of the first Augustana Research Award.